"Devastating"

UN: South Sudan soldiers committed rape in lieu of wages

A displaced women residing in the United Nations Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal, South Sudan, February 26, 2016. (ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The South Sudanese government allowed its soldiers and allied militias to rape women in lieu of being paid, according to a United Nations report released on Friday.

The document, published by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) comes six months after accounts that revealed the systematic abduction and abuse of women and girls during the country’s civil war.

From April to September 2015, the U.N. recorded more than 1,300 reported rapes in Unity State alone, in the north of the country. One woman told of being raped by five soldiers in front of her children; another was tied to a tree and forced to watch her teenage daughter being raped by ten soldiers. Even more disturbingly, high commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said, “the quantity of rapes and gang-rapes described in the report must only be a snapshot of the real total.”

“The scale and types of sexual violence — primarily by government SPLA forces and affiliated militia — are described in searing, devastating detail, as is the almost casual, yet calculated, attitude of those slaughtering civilians and destroying property and livelihoods,” he said.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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